Microsoft Requires Windows Piracy Checks

Discussion in 'IBM' started by Ablang, Jul 29, 2005.

  1. Ablang

    Ablang Guest

    Microsoft Requires Windows Piracy Checks

    Users will have to validate their OS before using Microsoft's download

    Elizabeth Montalbano, IDG News Service
    Tuesday, July 26, 2005

    Microsoft Tuesday is expected to go live with a program requiring
    customers to validate that they are running legitimate copies of
    Windows before they can use Microsoft's download services.

    The Windows Genuine Advantage 1.0 program ensures that customers using
    Windows Update, Microsoft Update for Windows, and the Microsoft
    Download Center run a program that checks that their Windows operating
    system is genuine before they can download updates or new content from
    those services, says David Lazar, director of Genuine Windows for

    The Redmond, Washington-based company has been testing the program
    since September and has validated more than 48 million systems so far,
    Lazar says. Until Tuesday the program has been voluntary.

    Customers who discover they have a counterfeit copy of Windows through
    the program either will be given a free version of the OS or can
    purchase it for a discounted price, he says.

    To get a free version of Windows, a customer must fill out a
    counterfeit report identifying the source of the software, provide a
    proof of purchase, and send in a counterfeit CD of the software. If
    customers don't have all of that information, they can still fill out
    a counterfeit report and receive a copy of Windows XP Home Edition for
    $99 or a copy of Windows XP Professional Edition for $149, Lazar says.

    Windows XP Home normally sells for $199 and Windows XP Professional
    Edition usually costs $299.

    Fighting Piracy

    The move to lock out pirated copies of Windows from the download sites
    is part of Microsoft's effort to fight software piracy, which is a
    major issue for the software vendor.

    Bonnie MacNaughton, senior attorney in the legal and corporate affairs
    department of Microsoft, says the company estimates that more than
    one-third of all copies of its software are counterfeit, based on a
    recent joint report released by the Business Software Alliance and
    research firm IDC. The study found that 35 percent of software
    worldwide is pirated. In North America alone, the piracy rate for
    software is 22 percent.

    "We consider that to be a staggering number," MacNaughton says.

    One issue the software maker faces in fighting piracy is that many
    users don't know that their copy of Windows is illegal. Windows
    Genuine Advantage allows customers to solve this problem in a few
    minutes through the automatic validation, Lazar says.

    The Windows Genuine Advantage checking mechanism is anonymous, and
    includes an ActiveX control on the client side and the Windows Product
    Activation service on the Microsoft side. During the testing process,
    a user had to install the ActiveX control and enter the Windows
    product key, which on new PCs bought with the operating system is
    typically found on a sticker affixed to the PC. However, providing a
    Windows product key is no longer required in the live program, Lazar

    This is not the first time that Microsoft is checking whether
    installed copies of Windows are legitimate. Windows Update already
    checks for certain volume license keys that are known to be used
    illegally to activate copies of Windows.

    Microsoft also has a Web site at, providing customers
    with information on how they can discover whether or not they have a
    genuine copy of Windows, Lazar says.

    While counterfeit copies of Windows will be prevented from downloading
    updates, Lazar says Microsoft is not including security updates in the
    lock-out. Even customers who do not check their copies of Windows for
    authenticity will be allowed to download security updates through
    Windows Update, Microsoft Update for Windows and the Download Center,
    he says.

    "Those are available to all Windows users with or without validation,"
    Lazar says. "We think of it like public health. We want to make sure
    no one gets infected by another system on the Internet because of our

    "We have seen the enemy, and it is us."
    -- Walt Kelly
    Ablang, Jul 29, 2005
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  2. Ablang

    Some Guy Guest

    Ablang wrote:

    > Microsoft Requires Windows Piracy Checks

    Not if you're running Windows 98.

    Macro$haft is hurting because their revenue growth is at it's lowest
    since they went public. They are at a low point because it's been 5
    years since Windows XP (eXtra Processes) was introduced (force-fed)
    into the market.

    Longhorn (or Vista, or V, or V for Virus) won't be available until
    well into 2006, and when it does become available, hackers, crackers,
    and mal-ware authors will be able to quickly build new armies of
    zombie home computers for a year or two before security packs get
    released for it.

    To help kill off Windows 98, ME and 2000, Micro$lack will introduce
    (by the end of this year) a new version of Internet Exploiter that
    will only run on XP and Server 2003. Longhorny is a derivative of
    Server 2003, which Microsoft says is not designed for use on home
    computers, but then again that's what they said about Windows 2000 and
    then came out with XP which was based on 2k.

    > "We have seen the enemy, and it is us."
    > -- Bill Gates
    Some Guy, Jul 29, 2005
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